We creatives tend to mine the depths of what it means to be human. When I think about the concept of “esteem,” I immediately want to hyphenate and turn it into “self-esteem.” I wonder, though, if that’s simply a symptom of our culture?
At its core, esteem is how we view others, and I think the un-hyphenated word stands on its own merits. To find our authentic selves, oftentimes we need to delve outside of “self,” and look at who we hold in high esteem. It’s important to look at who we allow to sit on those pedestals of honor — who we get all fanboy or fangirl about.
These are our heroes. These are who we want to emulate and build upon in our works. Without the esteem for which I hold certain authors, for instance, my own voice would somehow be different, or even non-existent. It almost certainly wouldn’t be what it is now.
I think self-esteem begins with who we esteem. It’s just as important to journey outside of the concept of “self” as it is to look within to establish who we are, and how we are going to represent ourselves in our works.
Bret R. Wright, Author, Educator, Public Speaker www.bretrwright.com